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11th March 1967: Celtic v Queen’s Park Scottish Cup – Part One

The Morning After the Night Before
Like a good boy, after all the euphoria and hysteria inside – and outside – Celtic Park, I eventually made my way home, had a wee celebration with my family plus a couple of uncles who lived nearby and hit the pillow just about midnight.

Both matches against the Slavs had been tough affairs and I could feel the body had taken a bit of a pounding. Still, I had no reason to think that a night’s sleep would not do the trick.

However, when I woke the following morning, thanks to the alarm clock that was my Mum, it was still aching all over. “Let’s get it over with” I thought to myself, swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up! What a pain shot through my ankle and I just dropped to the floor with a thud, causing my Mum to come running back up the stairs again.

I sat down on the bed and had a look at the ankle causing the problem. I had gone through problems with this ankle the previous season, first of all damaging the lateral ligament in a Scottish Cup tie against Dundee and then having similar problems on the medial side against Hearts in the next round.

This time it seemed to be on the outside again and touching that area was a no go, so I had a quick wash, got dressed and called for a taxi to get me to Celtic Park, as driving was out in the meantime.

While this was all happening in my house, Celtic fans all over Scotland could read the papers with some satisfaction, as their team made most of the headlines;

Billy’s Priceless Winner

 

Celts Could Take the Cup

 

That latter headline was a reference to the fact that Celtic were now in the semi-finals and anything could happen from now on. The teams already in the semi-finals were Celtic, Dukla Prague and Inter Milan, with the tie between C.S.K.A. Sofia and Linfield still to be decided.

Another paper mentioned the money that Celtic were now receiving for their efforts;

‘For a start it put at least another £25,000 straight into the Celtic bank – that is the reward that awaits Celtic in the semi-finals no matter who they meet.
That is but the start of the pay-off for one of the greatest victories in Celtic history. No matter if they lose in the next round, Celtic are now a world name and not merely a team of continental fame, in football.

Another headline caught the eye;

 

Stein – ‘Let’s leave Inter for Final!’

Stein Makes His Choice

When asked who he wanted his team to face, Jock Stein was very positive “Linfield or C.S.K.A. Sofia; let’s keep Inter Milan for the final”

 


When I got into training, I was immediately on the trainer’s couch and Bob had a good look and then, more problematically for me, had a good feel as well. The problem was on the outside and was swollen and very tender to touch. I got some heat treatment first, then some ice on it and that the combination of the two carried on for some time.

Then Doc Fitzsimmons arrived and assessed the damage. Much to my relief he told as all that he did not think it was ligament damage but severe bruising and should ease off within a few days. In the meantime, I was to get the same treatment as often as possible and then as the pressure eased, I was to start walking…..everywhere!
The latter word was said with a smile on his lips but I knew that he meant it.


10th March

This was a big day for Joe McBride, who was heading into Killearn Hospital for an operation on the damaged knee. Joe was a very popular guy in the dressing-room and we were all behind him in his treatment and recovery.

As he and his troops headed back to Yogoslavia, Novi Sad manager Boskov was very gracious at Glasgow Airport –“Celtic were an excellent team last night. They must have a great chance of going on to win the tie”.

And I got a big headline all to myself;

Craig Doubtful For Celts

I would have said ‘very doubtful’. In fact, as I laboured my way from the dressing room to the treatment room that morning, it was quite clear to anyone watching that there was – as we say in Glasgow – ‘nae chance’ of me playing on the morra.

The worst area was right on the point of the ankle bone on the outside, just where your trousers rub against it, where you get accidentally touched by someone coming the other direction or where you bang it against some sticking-out something or other. When that happened, I really felt like lashing out but I settled for clenching my fists and grimacing!

In one of the evening papers, the Boss made his feelings on the match against Queen’s Park really clear;

No Let Up by Celts
“On Wednesday evening, it was the European Cup. Tomorrow, it is the Scottish Cup. The two trophies will be treated the same – and so will the opponents”.


Blame the Wife
Spanish seaman Senor Manuel Cobas Fandino (40) was shocked when he returned to his house and found that his wife had thrown out his savings.
Senor Fandino last week brought home £950 from Switzerland and put the money between the pages of a book.
While he was out, his wife cleaned the house, taking about 30 old books out of a cupboard and putting them out for the salvage men to take away – including the book with the money.
Police have found children with some of the books but not the book with the money in it.

Out with the old and in with the new
British Railways in Scotland is on the threshold of a £30m resignalling scheme.
Within the next 10 years the hundreds of signal boxes dotted throughout the system will be closed and their work will be done by about a dozen master signal boxes similar to the one at Glasgow Central Station.

Not a good night for Labour
The massive by-election protest vote against Harold Wilson and his Cabinet shocked Labour today.
The morale-boosting Conservative victory in Pollok and the dramatic slump in the Labour vote in Nuneaton and Rhondda West will be taken by the Tories – and reluctantly by Labour – as a clear demonstration against the Government less than a year after their sensational General Election victory.